Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar
A new kind of bar has arrived in Da Mare’s old stomping grounds. Ed Marszewski—editor-publisher of Lumpen, festival host, gallerist and general Chicago indie-art-world guy-around-town—has remodeled Kaplan’s Liquors, the Bridgeport bar that since 1986 has been owned by his mother, Maria Marszewski, and reopened it with the name Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar. He and his brother, Mike, both of whom have worked behind the bar for the past 20 years, have “transformed the Nelson Algren experience of the former dive bar into a much-needed community bar environment,” according to the press release, refurbishing the “Art Deco” cooler, decorating the walls with work from local artists and inviting “a vast network of artists, musicians and cultural workers of all stripes” to DJ each night. The Marszewskis have enlisted the input of neighbors on a “community-created cocktail menu,” as well as an assortment of ten beers on tap and 99 in bottles. Still, to Marszewski, Maria’s is more than just a bar: It’s “our contribution to making Bridgeport the community of the future.” 960 W 31st St (773-890-0588).